We're Getting Better at Drinking Ourselves to Death

Rate of alcohol-induced deaths hits record high
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2015 8:23 AM CST
We're Getting Better at Drinking Ourselves to Death

Last year, nearly 31,000 Americans died as a result of drinking too much—a 37% increase from 2002. And those deaths are just the ones from causes like alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, the Washington Post reports. If deaths from drunk driving and accidents or homicides involving alcohol were included, the number would be nearly 90,000, per the CDC. The rate of alcohol-induced deaths seen in 2014 is a 35-year (at least) record, and the number of deaths (30,722) is higher than those from heroin overdoses and prescription painkiller overdoses combined (28,647).

One likely factor: People are drinking more, with per-capita alcohol consumption going up since the late 1990s, one expert says. In 2002, 54.9% of US adults drank at least monthly; in 2014, the rate was 56.9%. But for women, the rate went from 47.9% to 51.9%, and more women are binge drinking, too. (American women are drinking more like men.)

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